According to the Australian Network on Disability, companies are looking to enhance their corporate image by looking for employment opportunities for people with disabilities and to contribute to the success of their business.However, corporations do not always consider this sector of the population in their communications and marketing messages and the positive impact it can make.
Inclusive advertising can attract a wider talent pool of employees. It can also act as a way of building trust with existing employees, making them feel welcomed and empowered in the workplace, which leads to greater productivity. As a marketing strategy, inclusive advertising makes sound business sense. People with disabilities represent 15 per cent of the global population with a spending power of over U.S. $8 trillion in disposable income. By representing this sector in their advertising, companies connect more with customers and demonstrate their support for diversity.
Last year, Mars Chocolate ran a series of advertisements for Maltesers featuring people with disabilities. According to Michelle Oliver, U.K. vice-president of Marketing, the impact of the campaign saw an increase in sales and their brand affinity over their projected target. Inclusive advertising incorporates people with disabilities into a natural setting and they become incidental instead of the focus of the message.
This strategy has less risk of criticism for ‘disability opportunism’, and can be easily integrated into existing marketing campaigns, which will in turn strengthen the corporate image.
For more information and to see examples of disability inclusion advertising, click here.